Fair plans, training are underway

January 15, 2014

XENIA — For most Greene County residents the fair is still months away. But for the Greene County Senior and Junior Fairboard the preparations for the 2014 fair are in high gear.

Both Senior and Junior Fairboard members recently participated in the 89th Annual Ohio Fair Managers Convention and Trade Show at the Columbus Convention Center. The convention gives representatives from each of the 87 counties that host fairs and the seven independent fairs in the state of Ohio have the opportunity to attend training sessions or workshops on every aspect of the fair.

Workshops and training sessions are a vital part of providing a successful fair. Hundreds of directors from all over the state are informed of new Ohio Department of Agriculture and Health Department rules and regulations for concessions, rides, livestock shows and sales, camping and much more. Other workshops may include grant writing, harness racing updates, security, concealed carry laws, displays, and handling complaints among others.

Also during the four-day event, hundreds of trade show participants are on hand to offer — and hopefully sign contracts with — fair directors for golf carts, bleachers, rodeo shows, Elvis and KISS impersonators, tents, rides, concessions and the list goes on and on.

Nearly 1,400 Junior Fairboard members from the state of Ohio arrived for a full day of training on Saturday, Jan. 11. Some of the workshops for that session included dress codes, public perceptions and skill-a-thons. One session that is provided for Junior Fairboard members is the Step Beyond experience. Participants work with trade show vendors, Ohio Fair Managers Association Board Members and Ohio State University Extension professionals to learn the various aspects of putting on a fair from start to finish. The Junior Fairboard member is given a budget and then puts together musical acts, truck and tractor pulls, rides, concessions, awards, tents – everything needed for their “fair.”

Greene County was fortunate to have five participants, which is the maximum from one county. Emma Horney, Brooke Anderson, Nick Stalter, Macen Jackson and Mikal Porter were all chosen to participate in this unique learning experience.

Greene County was also recognized in other capacities during the four day convention. The 2013 Greene County Fair Queen, Samantha Avey, was a participant in the Ohio Fairs’ Queen contest, and Keith Sheridan was introduced as having served as past president of the Ohio Fair Managers Board of Directors in 2004-2005. Gene Pierson, who was the recipient of the 2013 Greene County Friend of the Fair award, was recognized and Dan Bullen, who is the 2014 President of the Greene County Agricultural Senior Fairboard, was also recognized as District 3 Director on the Ohio Fair Managers Board.

The 2014 Greene County Fair will be held July 27-August 2 with more fun, displays, and entertainment. Rumor has it that plans are being made to bring a “big” name entertainer this year.

The Greene County Fair and Fairgrounds are not owned or operated by the county officials as some believe, but instead is under the Greene County Agricultural Society. The 16 directors who make up the Senior Fairboard are voted upon by members of the Greene County Agricultural Society and serve three year terms on rotating basis. The Junior Fairboard members are 4-H and FFA members who participate in an application process.

You can join the fair on Facebook and twitter or go to www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com to stay up to date.